BELTON — The Bell/Lampasas counties’ Community Service Restitution program was recognized by the Bell County Commissioners Court.
The program, which is a way for convicted probationers to repay the community for their offenses, works with about 2,500 probationers a month, said Alice Wilkins, a court officer for Bell and Lampasas counties’ Community Service and Correction Department.
“We have at least one, usually two, work crews out in Temple, Killeen and Belton,” Wilkins said. “We also have one with the Army Corps of Engineers every Saturday and Sunday.”
Larry Wilkins, who also works with the Community Service and Correction Department, said the crews are spread so far afield that it takes days to respond.
“When someone calls in about a road that needs attention right now, we’re right at 15 days before I can get out there to check on it,” he said. “And we get calls from all over the county. ”
In addition to cleaning up roadways, probationers helped the city of Temple hold a successful household hazardous waste collection event in October, Alice Wilkins said.
The event allowed hundreds of residents from Bell, Coryell, Hamilton, Lampasas, Milam, Mills and San Saba counties to take various household chemicals, used tires and e-waste such as hard drives, CD-ROMs and toner cartridges to the Temple Service Center.
Funding for the event was provided by Waste Management and a grant from the Central Texas Council of Governments.
Alice Wilkins told the commissioners that probationers worked with the Killeen to remove outdated and unnecessary paper records.
“There were 64,000 pounds of records that were taken to the shredder,” she said. Probationers also cleaned and maintained the grounds in several cemeteries as well as helped clean up Nolan Creek.
“Defendants also cleaned the Bell County animal shelter as well as other animal shelters Bell County,” Alice Wilkins said. “They also helped stock various food pantries throughout the county.”